Custo Dalmau marched to his own beat for Custo Barcelona…Tess Giberson showed Summer-of-Love looks…and Richard Chai went ladylike and minimal.
Custo Barcelona: Since designer Custo Dalmau always shows dozens of combinations of his signature prints, colors and textures, the Custo Barcelona collection can be a little overwhelming on the runway. It’s all just so darn much. But Dalmau, who’s Spanish, is clearly doing something right. His collection does well internationally. He has 22 stores worldwide and plans to open five more in the U.S. by the end of the year, to add the current three in New York, Chicago and Santa Fe.
The collection Dalmau showed on Friday was titled, “Summer as a Journey,” and it had a get-up-and-go feeling perfect for a quick jaunt. There were lots of spring coats, easy T-shirts and pretty printed skirts and shorts, many accessorized with matching caps or umbrellas. The best pieces were the delightful cotton pique trenches in white, lime, aqua and pink, many with Victorian-style raised shoulders or a contrast yoke in back. Nylon or cotton windbreakers with a retro feel looked sweet, too, with tiny ruffles on the pockets or shoulders.
Richard Chai: To fashion insiders, Richard Chai is far from being a new name. They knew him first as a designer at Marc Jacobs and then as one of the creative forces who passed through the revolving doors at Tse. Still, Chai’s Saturday show was his first effort under his own name.
The designer offered up a line of clothes for the the sophisticated, yet individual girl that so many seem to want to dress this season. Although Chai’s tailored, ladylike silhouettes — pencil skirts, skinny pants, belted jackets and ultralight knit — aren’t exactly unfamiliar, the designer worked them in a minimal and not-quite-sweet way that made his collection distinctive. For starters, he picked up a thread from the Space Age story that he started to tell with his last collection at Tse for fall 2003. How does lady go techno? In some cases, it’s done by cutting an old-standby, such as the pencil skirt, in layers of organza for an ethereal effect. And yet in others, the newness comes in the form of slight tweaks on traditional shapes, such as the sharpened shoulder and half-sleeve on a crisp white cotton jacket belted with raw-edged ribbon. The mostly pale, restrained palette and lack of embellishment also contributed to the cause.It’s certainly tough to find a unique voice in increasingly crowded arena, but Chai is well on his way.
Atil Kutoglu: Atil Kutoglu’s collection was much improved this season. The line is more focused now, and the designer also distanced himself from the Turkish motifs he emphasized in earlier collections, which limited their appeal. Fabric and material choices set the tone. There was a terrific striped cotton sheeting, for example, that was cut into a cute pair of shorts, evoking the spirit of chic American sportswear. Crushed silk gave a touch of antiquity to the Grecian-inspired, lace-detailed beige column and the material also worked well in the black high-waisted number with split kimono sleeves. While Kutoglu’s inventive use of leather in dresses, coats and tops was a significant part of the collection, it wasn’t the most impressive. Instead, it was his breezy, effortless looks that had the most impact, such as the swingy, gold-and-blue brocade vest worn over a cotton shirtdress and the brocade blazer paired with an easy, cropped jumpsuit.
Tess Giberson: In a world that’s currently dominated by the eclectic-lady look, designer Tess Giberson’s sweetly ethereal collection was like a light, cool downtown sorbet. In spite of the designer’s artsy-craftsy reputation and the generally bohemian silhouettes, she avoided the associations that usually accompany those terms. Instead, the mostly white and pale gray collection, accessorized by Ninh Wysocan’s beautiful jewelry, felt fresh. In fact, the long and loose dresses — some detailed with trapunto seaming or lines of rickrack — cool, slouchy pants; tops, and skirts would be a perfect wardrobe for the city-dweller whose tastes coincide with the aesthetics of the Summer of Love. And, as retailers know, there’s no shortage of them.
Charles Alexander: When Charles Alexander showed his spring collection, it was easy to picture Alicia Silverstone’s character in “Clueless,” Cher, assembling umpteen possible outfits for the first day of school. That’s because the designer displayed a similar giddy enthusiasm, and it was clear that he had a hard time choosing looks for what the show notes called “a mad dash around the world.” Alexander’s background is in made-to-order — he has been the in-house couture designer at Bergdorf Goodman for two years and, before that, was creative director at Maggie Norris Couture. But, while Alexander clearly has talent and taste, he has not yet grasped the notion of creating a cohesive collection. That said, there were beautiful pieces here, such as neatly tailored silk print blouses; high-waisted printed linen skirts; drop-waisted silk and linen ball skirts, and a striking embossed, black leather jacket. Now he has to refine those lovely elements into a cohesive whole.
Supermodel @helenachristensen teamed up with longtime friend and designer @camillastaerk on a joint @paredeyewear collaboration. The lineup features three styles and 11 offerings, all of which embody a vintage feel. Get all the details on how they celebrated the collab on WWD.com. #wwdaccessories #wwdeye (📷: @slovekinpics)
“It’s a hard industry to keep motivated, as well, so finding different subjects and people is what makes it worth it – when you’re like, oh, I’ve met great people, I feel like I’ve done something good, and I feel proud of having done this,” said French actress Stacy Martin on being grateful for the variety of roles she’s take on. Read @ktauer’s full interview with Martin on her her latest film “Godard Mon Amour.” #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
After showing in front of the Eiffel Tower for his last two women’s ready-to-wear collection, it looks like @anthonyvaccarello may be heading to the Big Apple. Sources say the designer will stage his next @ysl show in NYC on June 6. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion